Vol. 15, No. 20 – June 29 – July 12, 2022 – The Pet Page

SPAN Thrift Store is open to the public and looking for donations of lightly used adult clothing, household items and tools. SPAN Thrift Store regularly provides $10 spays and neuters for low-income households for cats and dogs. Upcoming clinics: Tuesday, July 5th at Albert Soliz Library, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard; Tuesday, July 12th, Shiels Park, 649 C. St., Fillmore; Tuesday, July 26th, SPAN Thrift Store, 110 N. Olive St., Ventura. Please call to schedule an appointment – (805) 584-3823.

∙ Just like people, dogs can get stomach aches for a variety of reasons, from eating something they shouldn’t have to catching a disease. Because these causes have a wide range of severity, many dog owners are unsure of how to respond to a dog showing gastrointestinal (GI) upset and if a trip to the veterinarian is always necessary.

Dr. Emily Gould, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, discusses the common causes and symptoms of digestive issues, as well as what owners can do to help their pup through the pain.

“The most common gastrointestinal issues causing owners to seek veterinary care for their dogs are dietary indiscretion (eating of food that upsets their GI tract), ingestion of a foreign object, intestinal parasites, pancreatitis, and chronic inflammatory intestinal disease (caused by food allergies/intolerance or immune-mediated inflammation),” she said.

The most common symptoms for any form of GI upset are vomiting and diarrhea, which can appear as acute symptoms with a sudden onset or chronic symptoms with multiple episodes over several weeks.

“Some animals with GI upset will also become nauseous, which can manifest as excessive drooling/salivation, lip licking, and lack of interest in food,” Gould said. “The development of flatulence and/or loud ‘gut sounds’ (known as borborygmi) might also be noted in some cases.”

Many cases of GI upset will resolve on their own, but there are several symptoms owners can watch out for to determine if a trip to the veterinarian is necessary, including if the dog stops eating or drinking, is depressed/lethargic, has frequent or persistent vomit or diarrhea (lasting beyond 24 hours), blood in the vomitus or diarrhea, or is known to have ingested a foreign object.

“For the most part, if your pet is still acting like itself and eating and drinking normally, there is not always a need to bring them in for signs lasting less than 48 hours,” Gould said. “If signs continue for more than 48 hours or any of the earlier criteria are noted, veterinary care is warranted, as vomiting and diarrhea can cause life-threatening dehydration if medical care is not provided.”

One notable cause of GI upset in puppies, specifically, is parvovirus, a condition that can be life-threatening for dogs that have not been fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated puppies with GI issues should always be taken to a veterinarian because parvovirus can cause extreme dehydration and death within 24 hours without supportive care.

“Boiled, skinless chicken or turkey breast mixed with white rice or low-fat cottage cheese can be offered in the short term,” Gould said. “The low-fat component makes the food easier to digest and helps the stomach empty its contents quickly.
Other dietary changes that may help resolve and prevent GI upset are feeding smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day and not giving a dog table scraps, raw meat, or foods high in fat.

Because the causes of digestive issues can range from mild to severe, dog owners should always be on the lookout for any signs of discomfort. A quick response, and trip to the veterinarian, if necessary, can save time, money, and even a dog’s life.

“Gastrointestinal upset can be very distressing for owners, and it is always better to be on the safe side with having your dog evaluated if you are at all concerned,” Gould said. “While many causes of GI upset are not life threatening, some can be, which is why assessment by a veterinarian is never wrong.”

Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University.

By Laura Polacheck

∙ Temperatures are rising soon, so Salt Lake County Animal Services is reminding people that keeping pets safe in the heat will prevent tragic accidents.

On a 70 degree day, the temperature in the car can soar to 116 degrees in as little as 10 minutes.

Animal Control Officers respond to over 500 calls about dogs kept in sweltering car temperatures annually, with over 100 such calls already this year.

Because dogs can’t release heat from sweating, their internal body temperature rise quickly and cause heat stroke, which can be deadly.

Senior dogs, puppies, and those with flatter faces, suffer even more in hot weather.

Here’s what to do if a dog is spotted in a hot car:
If a pet inside a vehicle excessively panting, non-responsive, drooling, or listless, call 911.

Take a photo of the pet, the license plate, and give that information to Animal Control Officers.

Ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle immediately.

What not to do:
Never break a window of a vehicle on your own to pull out a pet, you could be liable for damages.

Don’t just leave the A/C on. It’s best to leave your pet at home where they can lounge in a comfy, cool place, with plenty of water.

Signs of pet heatstroke include excessive panting, a rapid or erratic pulse, muscle tremors, convulsing, and vomiting.
Pets with these signs should be moved to a cool, shady place, cooled down with water in a tub or stream, fanned to reduce the animal’s core temperature, and taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Don’t forget to take water for animals on hikes, and make sure to avoid trails with hot sand that can burn an animal’s paws.
If the pavement feels too hot to the touch after five seconds, it’s too hot for dogs.And while balconies seem like a safe spot, they too can become overheated quickly. When in doubt, leave your dog at home to steal the couch and have access to long drinks of water.

∙ Gardeners should keep in mind that not all plant varieties are safe for pets. In fact, some are deadly and should be avoided if there are pets in the household.

Choosing the right plants to make our gardens bloom but also be safe for pets can be a daunting task — some plants are toxic for dogs but not cats, and vice versa, so it is important to do your homework before choosing what to plant.

Some of the most common poisonous plants that should be avoided for pets include:

SAGO PALM: Also known as the Palm Sunday palm. The entire plant, and the seeds in particular, contain a potent toxin called cycasin that can be fatal, even if the animal only eats a single seed.

AZALEAS: Ingesting even a few leaves can cause serious issues such as upset stomach, drooling, loss of appetite, weakness and leg paralysis, and in some cases, coma or death.

HYDRANGEAS: These are poisonous to cats, dogs and horses. All parts of the plant are toxic because they contain cyanogenic glycoside. Signs of ingestion include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, confusion and depression.

BIRDS OF PARADISE: Toxic for both dogs and cats, they also can be fatal for rabbits. They can cause intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing and loss of coordination is possible.

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